Cutting individual insurance mandate could have dire consequences for health care, says RAND

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health care reform newsA new study from the RAND Corporation, a non-profit institution that provides research and analysis for various political endeavors, suggests that axing the mandatory health insurance provision from the Affordable Care Act could be a costly mistake. The health care law has generated a large amount of controversy for its various provisions that introduce dramatic changes to the nation’s tax, insurance and medical services structure. None of these provisions have been quite as contentious as the health insurance mandate.

The mandate, and the law as a whole, will be heading to the Supreme Court in March to begin litigation that will determine whether the law and its provisions are controversial or not. RAND researchers claim that cutting only the insurance mandate from the law would mean that coverage rates from the ambitious overhaul would drop to 15 million, down from 27 million if the law remained intact. The study shows that consumers would also be paying more for their insurance coverage.

RAND believes that cutting the insurance mandate could be a dangerous misstep for the country’s health care system. This concern is echoed by insurance companies that have been pushing for the mandate to remain within the law. Many have accused these companies of profiteering, suggesting that the mandate ensures business. Insurers, however, argue that without the mandate they will have no way to ensure that healthy people purchase policies. Instead, they will be left with those of poor health, who present a significant financial risk due to their conditions.

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